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Where to find lunch for $12 or less in Richmond

Ready for your lunch break? Check out these 16 options for more affordable lunches from takeout carbonara to wagyu meatloaf.

a photo of the patio at union market

All this for under $12? Eat your heart out.

Table of Contents

Looking for a tasty, local lunch spot that doesn’t break the bank? We’re here for you, Richmond. Check out this list of 15+ places where a lunch for one costs $12 or less.


Garnett’s, 2001 Park Ave.
Get takeout or sit at the counter and enjoy a sandwich from this Fan diner. Almost all sandwiches are under $10 and come with a side. Try this: the Grilled Florentine, a vegetarian-friendly lunch of cheddar, spinach, red onion, and garlic aioli on rye for $9.25.

Union Market, 2306 Jefferson Ave.
A number of the specialty sandwiches and salads offered at this Union Hill cafe are available for under $12. Try this: the chicken tarragon sandwich with plum ginger jam for $11.

Mr. Submarine, multiple locations
Looking to grab a bite without leaving your car? Mr. Submarine has you covered with a plethora of options under $12 at both their drive thru West Broad location and their spot south of the river.

Catina Bakery, 6215 A W. Broad St.
This Henrico banh mi spot has fresh sandwiches with your choice of meat for $4 each. Pro tip: There’s a $10 card minimum, so bring cash unless you’re feeling extra hungry.

City Dogs, multiple locations
We’re not here to debate whether a hot dog is a sandwich. Whatever it is, City Dogs has a menu full of options for $3-4 each at both their West Main and East Cary Street establishments. Bonus: Soy dog substitutes are available for an extra 25 cents.

three heavily-adorned hot dogs and a coors banquet beer

This spread of franks from City Dogs cost under $11.

Photo by RICtoday

Classic combos

Abuelita’s, 6400 Midlothian Tpk.
Order the platillo chico at this Southside Mexican restaurant. The dish includes one serving of guiso, rice, beans, and tortillas — all for $9.95. Plus, they switch up their flavors each day and focus on quality ingredients.

Mama J’s, 415 N. 1st St.
For a soul-filled lunch at this Jackson Ward essential, go for the starters — the catfish nuggets are $9 — or mix-and-match some sides. $10 will get you macaroni and cheese ($5), collard greens ($5), and some ice cream for dessert ($2).

Philly Steak & Gyros, 3443 W. Cary St.
You may recognize the purple exterior of this Carytown classic. Order the regular size of any of their subs and wraps for under $6, or make it a meal for $10. We’ve got our eye on the teriyaki chicken philly with grilled onions and provolone.

Trucks, carts, and carry-out

Christopher’s Runaway Gourmay, multiple locations
This seasonal food cart fleet has locations at 12th and Marshall Street, 8th and Main Street, and 12th and Main Street. The tuna salad, chicken salad, pastas, and marinated cucumbers all come highly recommended by our readers.

Ay Caramba, multiple locations
This Mexican food favorite has both a downtown food truck and a permanent location on East Grace Street. Swing by either for $3 tacos or loaded-up $8.50 burritos.

A massive slice of pizza and a thumbs up

Two slices from Benny’s, featuring paper plates for scale.

Photo by RICtoday

Local legends

Jamaica House, 416 W. Broad St.
Bowls, sandwiches, and the smaller entree portions at this flavor paradise downtown are perfect for lunch and for your budget. Try the curry chickpea bowl or the jerk pork quesadilla for $8.

Hondo’s Steakhouse, 416 W. Broad St.
This Glen Allen steakhouse has a whole menu for lunchtime options under 12 bucks. Combos like wagyu meatloaf with garlic mashers and sauteed vegetables or coconut shrimp with slaw, pineapple salsa, and fries will run you just $11.95.

Joe’s Inn, 205 N. Shields Ave.
River City icon Joe’s Inn may be best known for its spaghetti, but it also boasts a lunch menu brimming with affordable options. Try the BLT, fried chicken, or barbecue sandwiches for under $10. Or, if you’re feeling an extra dose of local pride, the sailor sandwich is $11.95.


Zorch Pizza, 2923 W. Cary St.
Swing by to get a New York Style slice. Try this: The White Out signature pizza has caramelized onions, basil, ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan — try it for $5.25.

Pupatella, 1 N. Morris St.
The lunch special at the Fan restaurant gets you a Classica Doc Pizza and a drink for $10, or a Diavola or Pepperoni plus an Arancini or a Panzarotti for $11.

Jo-Jo’s Famous NY Style Pizza & Subs, multiple locations
Grab a slice at the downtown location or try out the Midlothian spot. Pro tip: The lunch special is two slices of ‘za and a fountain drink for under $10.

Benny Ventano’s, 2501 W. Main St.
This regional pizza chain has kite-sized slices for $6-7. Grab a soda and a slice for the road and you can still come in under $10. Bonus: If you’re feeling reckless, take on the Benny’s Challenge on your lunch break and try to finish a 28-inch pie in under 28 minutes.

We know we missed some places. Drop us a line so we can add to our list — and fill our bellies.

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